Elizabeth Wilson Gauldin 1928-2008

We were saddened to receive the news of Elizabeth Gauldin’s (’50) passing. She was truly a Madison original.

Gauldin had a long and distinguished career including work with NASA. In 1970, when the Apollo 13 mission developed problems, she played an instrumental role in engineering the solution that saved the astronauts’ lives.

As one of my colleagues remarked upon hearing the news: “alas, we will all die; what matters is how we live.” And Gauldin’s was a life well lived.

In a tribute to her mother, Catherine Gauldin wrote of her mother’s commitment to try to make a difference in the world. “She had a great heart for the forgotten of the world, the downtrodden, the lost, the shattered, the desperate. Her first contact as a volunteer was with the Open Door Mission, a shelter for the homeless where she acted as a tutor, helping and encouraging people to work towards their GED and from there to eventual liberation from a hopeless life on the street. Next she volunteered as a tutor for elementary age school children, then became involved with the volunteer program at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and eventually found the way to Crossroads, and through them acted as a mentor at both the Krause Children’s Center and at the Harris County Boot Camp. She willingly offered herself in the hard places of the world because she knew those were the places where compassion can make the most impact.”

Elizabeth Gauldin will be missed; her friends, colleagues and the Madison community will continue to remember this remarkable woman who truly exemplified “Be the Change.”

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